Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria; Search for Missing People Continues


JT Bellina, Reporter

On February 6, 2023, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southeast Turkey and northwest Syria. Two weeks later, on February 20th, a second earthquake struck Turkey amidst the cleanup of the first. With 7.8 and 6.3 magnitude earthquakes hitting this region, tens of thousands have already been found dead, and thousands remain trapped underneath the rubble of decimated cities. United Nations supplies and personnel have been sent to both Syria and Turkey to start what will be a very long recovery. 

While weeks have passed since the first quake hit Turkey and Syria, scenes of big cities and small towns still appear as if the disaster struck yesterday. Cities such as Antakya and Aleppo have completely changed, and the residents of these places have been separated from their homes, belongings, and even loved ones. While most people in southeast Turkey and northwest Syria have now been accounted for, thousands are still yet to be found. While hope remains with the families of many missing people, the death toll continues to rise as more rubble is cleared. Ordinary citizens have worked together to help the injured and find many more people waiting to be located. One of those found was 8-year-old Yigit, one of many who has inspired searches to continue. 

Among the many cities destroyed, a number close to 50,000 people have lost their lives, and with buildings still being searched, that number will, unfortunately, continue to rise. While aid from both countries has of course been seen, the UN has also stepped in to help Syria and Turkey. Hundreds of trucks packed with essential items have now been able to aid affected areas in both countries. These trucks have entered northwest Syria, an area in constant war, with millions of children already in need of humanitarian aid. While these supplies could save many lives, there is still a need for more food, water, medicine, medical supplies, shelter, and more. 

With 26 million people in need of assistance (according to the World Health Organization), there is much to be done to recover from this disaster. While there is little to be done for the rest of the world but watch, donations to organizations such as the International Rescue Committee and Direct Relief can help provide help to people in need. The earthquakes have severely impacted Syria and Turkey, but a strong presence of aid and a lasting hope is sure to restore the region.